Monday, September 22, 2008

A Modest Proposal

This article on the Chinese baby formula scandal by a well-known Shanghai TV host really cracked me up:
I have been asking myself the following questions: Why did it happen? Why did so many brand-name companies disregard the health and lives of infants? How could their products pass quality inspections, and why was it that some of them were even given inspection-free status by government agencies? ...

...I’m sure the scandal would not have happened if government officials inspected baby formula as strictly as they inspect films.

Not a single film in China has been given an “inspection-free” status. Film directors are treated equally regardless of whether they are internationally renowned or if they’re just starting their career. Even films from top-notch directors are trimmed, revised, or pulled from distribution completely if there are any problems.

Censoring a film starts with inspecting its script. The government prohibits any changes to be made to the original script and inspects each step of the film’s production. Do officials do similar things with dairy products? Do they check our milk supply? A film would be revised again and again until it satisfies the censors. As for milk powder, there is an inspection-free policy which allows unqualified products to be sold directly to consumers. By contrast, there is a strict film recall system. Take the film Apple(苹果) as an example, it was pulled from all movie theaters across the country as soon as officials detected something wrong with it, and subsequently the company that produced the film had its license revoked. However, the dairy product company Sanlu still holds a production license even after the damage it’s caused.
You gotta love the way this guy takes the government's own logic and turns it on its head.

There's more at China Digital Times. Check it out.

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